1 Ionian University (GREECE)
2 BrilliantPR Digital Agency (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 12077-12085
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.2525
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Web design and websites aesthetics have undergone major changes since their counterparts in the 1990s. This is unavoidable not only because the trends are changing, but also because the very first websites on the Web were facing other technical issues that are now solved, such as the internet speed. Hence, the first pages were simplistic and had as their main goal to load fast and inform the users. Although the changes on the websites might be driven more by the evolution in technology than the changes in aesthetics, nevertheless, identifying trends and “periods” of design trends regarding web interfaces can be useful to better comprehend their evolution over time [1].

In our study, we analyze the evolution in the aesthetics of the interfaces of learning management systems. For our study, we compared popular web-based e-learning platforms through different time periods. Towards this, we apply a series of metrics to a corpus of collected screenshots from different period of the web history and we will investigate their changes. The websites are evaluated in terms of 4 pillars: Color, Text, Layout and Complexity. Through our analysis, we will try to see whether there is a pattern in the changes of the e-learning interfaces and how these changes are affecting the final e-learning experience. For instance, a less clutter design, makes it easier for the learner to find what one is searching for or lead to a better organization of the student’s curriculum.

We believe that such a study is more crucial during this period than ever before, since the pandemic of COVID-19 showed the vast potential of e-learning for students around the globe. Educational institutions worldwide, had to adjust their courses in an online interface. Since in a lot of cases this happened in a rush, the student did not have the chance to have the best possible experience. But, by calling forth on “tools” such as usability, design and user experience, we can ensure a positive experience.

[1] Chen, W., Crandall, D. J., & Su, N. M. (2017, May). Understanding the Aesthetic Evolution of Websites: Towards a Notion of Design Periods. In CHI (pp. 5976-5987).
Learning management systems, aesthetics, web design, user interface, usability.